If you have served on any board of a not-for-profit I am certain you have looked like this guy here. N.F.P.’s can be the death of you if you are not careful. The key thing to remember is that you are still part of a business. Yeah, I said it, a business. Just because you aren’t trying to make a profit does not mean the organization isn’t supposed to run like a profitable business.
In my experience working with and for nonprofits, communication is the biggest issue. It is understandable that not-for-profit communication would be a big issue since everyone for the most part is volunteering their time for the cause, and everyone can give at a different level and time. So let’s focus on the things that we can control since no one is going to start making paid positions and getting rid of volunteers anytime soon.
There are 3 Social Media Tools that you can use to simplify the not-for-profit communication among your key players
Go to your Facebook page and on the left-hand column of your page, you will see “Groups” Click on Create a Group and ask all of the people on your board that needs to communicate regularly with each other to be your friend. Once they are your friend, you can add them to the group.
What can you do within the Facebook Group?
You can see and participate in Real Time Chat versus Email with your group members instead of reply all and wait. You can set notifications so you get an email or a text on your cell phone when someone has posted in the group. The part I like the most about the groups is the feature of uploading and sharing pictures, web links, and documents.
DropBox is a tool that I started using and now I am just coming up with more and more ideas on how to use it myself and how many others could benefit greatly from this. They give you 2GB of starter storage for free so you can get a good taste of what it does and play with it before you pay for anything.
So how Does DropBox Work?
You sign up for a free account and the software will install a Folder on your computer just like an external hard drive. You can use this folder just like any other folder on your computer now. The cool part is you can access the items you saved in the folder from any other devices you have synced to your dropbox account, and you can access them from any computer by logging in to your web-based account. You can also set sharing restrictions so that you can share a file with others, while still protecting the security of the other files and folders you have saved.
Mailchimp is an email marketing service that can be used to send newsletters, quick emails, or just about anything. Do you have a consistent message that you would like to send to your list? When I say your list, this could be several lists including volunteers, supporters, business owners, or send a message to everyone.
With Mailchimp, you can design a form, put it on your Facebook page, or your website, or even put it in a QR code and invite people to be on one of your lists of communication. Once they have joined you design your message, whether it be a quick broadcast, a coupon, or a monthly newsletter, and then send it to everyone in that list in one click. You can even schedule these emails for any day or time.
There are several tools out there that can help with the communication and efficiency of your not-for-profit or small business. These are just 3 that are free and very useful.